Media Blackout on US ‘Smart Grid Deployment’

By James F. Tracy

Over the past several years a conspiracy of silence has surrounded the implementation of the Smart Grid across the United States, perhaps with good reason. If the public was aware of what lay behind this agenda there would likely be considerable outcry and resistance.

“Smart meters”–the principal nodes of the Smart Grid network–are being installed on homes and businesses by power utilities across the United States under the legal and fiscal direction of the United States government. In December 2007 both houses of the US Congress passed and President George W. Bush signed into law the Energy Independence and Security Act (EISA).

This 310-page piece of legislation employs the dubious science of anthropogenic CO2-based climate change science to mandate an array of policies, such as fuel efficiency standards for vehicles and “green” energy initiatives. Tucked away in the final pages of this law is the description and de facto mandate for national implementation of the Smart Grid that the Bush administration promised would result in “some of the largest CO2 emission cuts in our nation’s history.”[1]

The bill unambiguously lays out the design and intent behind the Smart Grid, including surveillance, tiered energy pricing, and energy rationing for all US households and businesses through round-the-clock monitoring of RFID-chipped “Energy Star” appliances.[2] Congress and “other stakeholders” (presumably for-profit utilities and an array of Smart Grid technology patent holders[3] whose lobbyists co-wrote the legislation) describe the Smart Grid’s characteristics and goals via ten provisions.

(1) Increased use of digital information and controls technology to improve reliability, security, and efficiency of the electric grid.
(2) Dynamic optimization of grid operations and resources with full cyber-security.
(3) Deployment[4] and integration of distributed resources and generation, including renewable resources.
(4) Development and incorporation of demand response, demand-side resources, and energy efficiency resources.
(5) Deployment of “smart” technologies (real-time, automated, interactive technologies that optimize the physical operation of appliances and consumer devices) for metering, communications concerning grid operations and status, and distribution automation.
(6) Integration of “smart” appliances and consumer devices.
(7) Deployment and integration of advanced electricity storage and peak-shaving technologies, including plug-in electric and hybrid electric vehicles, and thermal-storage air conditioning.
(8) Provision to consumers of timely information and control operations.
(9) Development of standards for communication and interoperability of appliances and equipment connected to the electric grid, including the infrastructure serving the grid.
(10) Identification and lowering of unreasonable or unnecessary barriers to adoption of smart grid technologies, practices, and services [emphases added].[5]

Less than two years after EISA’s enactment President Barack Obama directed $3.4 billion of the American Reinvestment and Recovery Act to Smart Grid development. Matching funds from the energy industry brought the total initial Smart Grid investment to $8 billion.[6] The overall completion of the Smart Grid will cost another $330 billion.[7] Today a majority of energy delivery throughout the US is routed to homes equipped with smart meters that monitor power consumption on a minute-to-minute basis.

As noted, the American public remains largely unaware of the numerous designs and monied interests behind the Smart Grid–not to mention how smart meters themselves pose substantial dangers to human health and privacy. This is because the plan for tiered energy pricing via wireless monitoring of household appliances has been almost entirely excluded from news media coverage since the EISA became law on December 19, 2007.

A LexisNexis search of US print news outlets for “Energy Independence and Security Act” and “Smart Grid” between the dates December 1, 2007 to January 31, 2008 yields virtually no results.

An identical LexisNexis search of such media for the dates December 1, 2007 to February 18, 2015 retrieves a total 11 print news items appearing in US dailies (seven in McClatchey Tribune papers; one article appearing in each of the following: New York Times 8/14/08, Santa Fe New Mexican, 5/12/09, Providence Journal, 2/24/11, Tampa Bay Times, 12/13/12).[8]

Even this scant reportage scarcely begins to examine the implications of the EISA’s Smart Grid plan. The New York Times chose to confine its coverage to a 364-word article, “The 8th Annual Year in Ideas; Smart Grids.” “It’s a response to what economists would call a tragedy of the commons,” the Times explains.

[P]eople use as much energy as they are willing to pay for, without giving any thought to how their use affects the overall amount of energy available … Enter Xcel’s $100 million initiative, called SmartGridCity, a set of technologies that give both energy providers and their customers more control over power consumption … Consumers, through a Web-enabled control panel in their homes, are able to regulate their energy consumption more closely — for example, setting their A.C. system to automatically reduce power use during peak hours.[9]

News in far more modest papers likewise resembles the promotional materials distributed by the utilities themselves. “There will soon be a time when homeowners can save electricity by having appliances automatically adjust power for peak-demand times and other periods of inactivity by a signal sent through the electrical outlet,” an article in Sunbury Pennsylvania’s Daily Item reads. “‘Right now, it’s at the infant stage,’” a power company executive observes. “‘We didn’t worry about this until two years ago. Nobody cared when electricity was five cents per kilowatt hour. People just bit the bullet and paid the bill.’”[10]


Along these lines, the Department of Energy’s Assistant Secretary for the Office of Electricity Delivery and Energy Reliability Patricia Hoffman, is charged under the EISA with federal oversight of nationwide Smart Grid implementation. In other words, Hoffman is America’s “Smart Grid Czar.” Yet despite heading up such a dubious program since 2010, she has almost entirely escaped journalistic scrutiny, having been referenced or quoted in only four US daily papers (Washington Post, 2/8/12, St. Paul Pioneer Press, 4/26/12, Palm Beach Post, 5/12/13, Pittsburgh Tribune Review 11/13/13) since her tenure began.

In an era where news media wax rhapsodic over new technologies and fall over each other to report consumer-oriented “news you can use,” the Smart Grid’s pending debut should be a major story. It’s not. Indeed, almost the entire US population remains in the dark about this major technological development that will profoundly impact their lives.

When one more closely examines the implications and realities of the federally-approved Smart Grid scheme—from the adverse health effects of electromagnetic radiation to surveillance and energy rationing—there should be little wonder why this degree of silence surrounds its implementation. Such a technocratic system would never be freely accepted if subject to an open exchange and referendum.


[1] “Fact Sheet: Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007,”, December 19, 2007.

[2] “ENERGY STAR is a U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) voluntary program that helps businesses and individuals save money and protect our climate through superior energy efficiency. The ENERGY STAR program was established by EPA in 1992, under the authority of the Clean Air Act Section 103(g).”

[3] Jeff St. John, “Who’s Got the Most Smart Grid Patents?”, August 5, 2014.

[4] The word “deployment,” commonly used in government and technical plans for the Smart Grid’s launch, is a military term. From the Latin displicāre, “to scatter,” the modern definition is “[t]o distribute (persons or forces) systematically or strategically.”

[5] Public Law 110-140, Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007, Title XIII, Section 1301, Washington DC: United States Congress, December 19,2007.

[6] “President Obama Announces $3.4 Billion Investment to Spur Transition to Smart Energy Grid,”, October 27, 2009.

[7] Jon Chavez, “Expert Sees $2 Trillion Benefit For Country in Smart Grid,” Toledo Blade, January 16 2013.

[8] In contrast, seven times as many articles (78) appeared in law journals over the same seven year period.

[9] Clay Risen, “”The 8th Annual Year in Ideas; Smart Grids,” New York Times, December 14, 2008.

[10] Jaime North, “Devices Will Soon Monitor Themselves,” Daily Item, October 4, 2008.



Maryland Lawmakers trying to stop smart meter opt-out fees Bill would stop utilities from charging fees

by Kate S. Alexander

Electric utility customers who decline to use a smart meter in Maryland face both one-time and recurring fees. Lawmakers are considering doing away with those charges.

The Maryland Public Service Commission allows customers to opt out of having smart meters, which wirelessly collect electric usage data and do not require someone to read the meter. However, the commission also lets utilities charge those who refuse a smart meter.

For Pepco customers, refusing a smart meter means a $75 one-time fee plus a monthly fee of $14.

Pepco is one of four utilities in the state charging $11 to $17 per month and $75 up front for not upgrading to a smart meter. Baltimore Gas and Electric, Delmarva Power and Southern Maryland Electric Cooperative also charge for opting out.

A bill proposed by Sen. Nathaniel J. McFadden (D-Dist. 45) of Baltimore City and cross-filed in the House by Del. Glen Glass (R-Dist. 34A) of Aberdeen would require utilities to stop charging those who refuse a smart meter and would require utilities to notify customers before installing a smart meter.

Proposed amendments to the Senate bill would allow utilities to charge different rates to customers based on actual costs for the type of meter involved.

Del. Al Carr (D-Dist. 18) of Kensington is a cosponsor of the House bill.

“I’m glad that this bill has been put in because it has been a concern of mine and of my constituents about fees approved by the PSC for those people who do not want a smart meter,” Carr said.

“This matter has already been decided by the PSC after extensive public participation and we do not support legislation that overturns the Commission’s decision,” Pepco spokesman Marcus Beal wrote in an email on Tuesday.

Pepco spokeswoman Courtney Nogas has said that smart meters benefit customers. Pepco will operate more efficiently, she said, improving restoration times by identifying outages remotely and laying the foundation for a future smart grid.

Smart meters also can save customers money, Nogas has said. The utility offers a credit when customers use less energy during periods of high demand.

Jonathan Libber, president of Baltimore-based Maryland Smart Meter Awareness said some people have seen their electric bills increase exponentially with a smart meter. He said he knows of customers who have gone back to an analog or so-called “legacy” meter and had their bills return to normal.

Maryland Smart Meter Awareness is an organization that seeks to educate the public about the potential dangers of smart meters and other wireless devices.

Pepco customer Deborah Vollmer of Chevy Chase has said she has refused to pay the fees for keeping her analog electric meter.

Vollmer told The Gazette in September that she refuses to pay the fees and feels the fees are extortion.

“It is punishment for exercising my right to opt out of their program,” she said at the time.

Libber also said the fees are punitive.

“The fees really are a penalty to discourage you from opting out,” he said.

Libber said the bill aims to establish fair charges for those without smart meters.

While his organization doesn’t believe there should be no cost for refusing a smart meter, he said that what is charged should be justified and fair.

The proposed bill is “not complete justice for everybody,” he said, but it attempts to stop unfair fees.


Smart meter problems force Balwyn North family out of home

Virginia Lo Giudice. Picture: Janine Eastgate

Virginia Lo Giudice. Picture: Janine Eastgate

A SMART meter has caused untold grief for a Balwyn­ North family of four, eventually forcing them out of their home.

John Aparo and Virginia Lo Giudice and their two sons, Alexander and Lucas, said they were left with no choice but to move after their smart meter was installed near her bedroom.

“I started having heart palpitations and not being able to sleep,” Mrs Lo Giudice said. “It would take me an hour to get to sleep and then I was constantly waking up every couple of hours.

“I also had nausea during the morning and headaches, was always fatigued and had no energy, and just had a general feeling of being unwell.”

HAVE YOUR SAY: Do you have issues with smart meters? Tell us below

Virginia Lo Giudice. Picture: Janine Eastgate

Virginia Lo Giudice. Picture: Janine Eastgate

Mrs Lo Giudice said she hadn’t experienced those symptoms before the smart meter was fitted.

She said she saw her doctor, who carried out a number of tests, but couldn’t find any underlying issues.

The 49-year-old said she called CitiPower — who had connected the electronic device outside her bedroom window — to see if she could have it removed or relocated, but was unsuccessful.

CitiPower spokesman Drew Douglas said it, along with Powercor Australia, had put in all but 4000 smart meters out of 1.1 million in its service area.

“Throughout the entire process we’ve tried to work with customers for anyone that has concerns about smart meters for any reason, keeping in mind it was a government-mandated program,” Mr Douglas said.

In reference to Mrs Lo Giudice’s specific case, he said “once the meters had been installed, we didn’t have old meters to put back in”.   (Stop Washington Smart Meters: DO NOT ALLOW THEM TO REMOVE YOUR ANALOG METER!!)

Mrs Lo Giudice said she redesigned the layout of her home, including moving her bedroom downstairs.

“In the end, it was too hard to reconfigure the house, so I thought if we can’t move the smart meter, we’ll just move ourselves.

“I was sick and tired of feeling that way and I know that when we went away or when I wasn’t near the smart meter, my symptoms went away and I felt good, so I didn’t want to risk any further complications.”

“I started having heart palpitations and not being able to sleep,” — Virginia Lo Giudice

Mrs Lo Giudice said she didn’t want to leave the area, so they bought another house on the same street when it became available.

Energy and Resources Minister Lily D’Ambrosio said the smart meter rollout was almost complete.

“Independent testing has shown that electromagnetic signals are lower than many other common household devices, such as cordless phones and baby monitors,” Ms D’Ambrosio said.

Mr Douglas said the smart meter’s internal radio transmitter worked at about half the signal strength of a mobile phone. “It makes the equivalent of a mobile phone call of a few seconds length, several times a day,” he said.

Virginia Lo Giudice with other smart meter opponents, including People Power Victoria — N

Virginia Lo Giudice with other smart meter opponents, including People Power Victoria — No Smart Meters candidate Lou Coppola (right). Picture: Janine Eastgate

But Lou Coppola, a candidate for the People Power Victoria — No Smart Meters party at November’s state election, said the Government hadn’t conducted any long-term research into the meters’ health effects.

“If Virginia was the only case, you could say it’s one of those freaky sort of things and there’s probably not enough data to make a considered or informed decision,” Mr Coppola said.

“But when you consider there are thousands of people that are sensitive to electromagnetic radiation, which is emitted by the smart meters, you have to say there is a problem.”

An Energy Australia smart meter.

An Energy Australia smart meter.


■ Smart meters measure and record electricity usage every 30 minutes

■ Readings are sent automatically to electricity distributors

■ Victoria’s five electricity providers — CitiPower, Powercor, Jemena, United Energy and SP AusNet — install, manage and own the meters

■ Meters were first introduced in 2008

■ Nearly 2.8 million have been installed in Victoria


Group Brings Petition Against “Smart Meter”

Updated: Saturday, February 14 2015, 03:15 PM CST
By: Erin Nichols – Right now CPS Energy is working to install smart meters in homes around San Antonio, but some feel the fees associated with opting out of the policy are unfair, so they are taking a bold step against the technology.
“We would just like the choice to opt out and not be penalized for that choice,” said concerned citizen Susan Straus.
Straus is part of group of Alamo Heights residents working to change the city charter.If approved, the amendment would give city leaders the power to regulate CPS Energy’s smart meter opt-out policy.
Residents who don’t want a smart meter installed on their property could out of the program at no cost.“It is amazing how many people; residents are opposed to this already,” said Straus.
CPS Energy’s opt out policy allows homeowners to choose a non-communicating meter over a smart meter, which uses radio frequency transmissions.
However, most of those who opt out must pay a onetime $175 fee and an extra 20 dollars a month. “That makes it similar to a forced installation,” said Straus.
The group says they’ve come across alarming reports concerning the potential of house fires to result from smart meter installations, and the low energy radiation emitted from the technology.
“We feel smart meters are a threat to our health, our home, they are a huge fire risk, and our safety,” she said.
CPS Energy released a statement saying:  “The franchise agreement with Alamo Heights, along with guidelines from the public utility commission, allow us to make decisions that help provide our customers service that is affordable, reliable and safe… It would be unfair for other customers to shoulder the financial costs of a few.”
The petition will now be reviewed by the city secretary before going to city leaders.
Two representatives from the League of Latin American Citizens said they are going to look at creating a similar petition in San Antonio.


Why Tesla’s battery for your home should terrify utilities

Earlier this week, during a disappointing Tesla earnings call, Elon Musk mentioned in passing that he’d be producing a stationary battery for powering the home in the next few months. It sounded like a throwaway side project from someone who’s never seen a side project he doesn’t like. But it’s a very smart move, and one that’s more central to Musk’s ambitions than it might seem.

To understand why, it helps to look not at Tesla, but at SolarCity, a company chaired by Musk and run by his cousin Lyndon Rive. SolarCity installs panels on people’s roofs, leases them for less than they’d be paying in energy bills, and sells surplus energy back to the local utility. It’s proven a tremendously successful model. Founded in 2006, the company now has 168,000 customers and controls 39 percent of the rapidly expanding residential solar market.

Fueled by financing systems like SolarCity’s, government subsidies, and a rapid drop in the price of photovoltaics, solar has been growing fast. But with that growth, some of solar’s downsides are coming to the fore. Obviously, the sun isn’t always shining when you need power, and sometimes the sun is shining when you don’t need power. The former is a problem for the user, who needs to draw on the grid when it’s cloudy or dark; the latter is a problem for the grid, which needs to find a place for that excess energy to go. When there’s a lot of solar in the system, it can get hard to keep the grid balanced.

That’s part of the reason that California, with one of the most aggressive renewable energy mandates in the country, recently declared the most aggressive energy storage mandate as well, with a goal of 1.3 gigawatts of storage by 2020. As other states adopt intermittent renewables like solar and wind, they’ll need to install energy storage too, providing a ready and waiting market for Tesla’s batteries.

Forecast storage market from GTM Research.

This has been part of the plan for the Gigafactory all along. At an event in New York last fall announcing plans for SolarCity to build a gigantic PV-panel factory, Musk and Rive mentioned that every SolarCity unit would come with battery storage within five to ten years, and that the systems would supply power at a lower cost than natural gas. Those batteries will come from the gigafactory, currently being built in Nevada. Once the factory comes online, the strong demand for energy storage will allow it to immediately ramp up production and achieve economies of scale. Tesla CTO JB Straubel (who has said that he “might love batteries more than cars”) says that the market for stationary batteries “can scale faster than automotive” and that a full 30 percent of the gigafactory will be dedicated to them.

Indeed, SolarCity has already begun installing Tesla batteries, mostly on commercial buildings like Walmart stores, which have to pay higher rates when they use lots of power during peak hours. Tesla’s batteries let them store up solar power when they don’t need it, then use it when rates are high, shaving 20-30 percent off their energy bills, according to Ravi Manghani, an analyst at GTM Research.

SolarCity is also running a pilot project with 500 homes in California, according to the company’s director of public affairs, Will Craven. The project uses Tesla’s 10-kilowatt-hour battery packs and can power homes for about two days in the event of an outage, Craven says.

The prospect of cheap solar panels combined with powerful batteries has been a source of significant anxiety in the utility sector. In 2013, the Edison Electric Institute, the trade group for investor-owned electric companies, issued a report warning that disruption was coming. “One can imagine a day when battery storage technology or micro turbines could allow customers to be electric grid independent,” the report said, likening the speed of the coming transition to the one from landlines to cellphones 10 years ago. Suddenly regulated monopolies are finding themselves in competition with their own customers.

They haven’t had to deal with this on the residential side yet, primarily because people can sell excess power back to the utilities at fairly high rates — a practice called net metering. But that’s hurting utilities, too, and some have tried to lower the price at which they buy back power, which has been met by furious protests from people leasing panels. If utilities lower the buyback rate too much, however, and batteries get cheap enough, people may just unplug from the grid altogether — or more likely, install systems that let them rely on it only rarely — prompting what those in the industry call “the utility death spiral.” It’s quite a bind: by fighting net metering, utilities would help make battery storage more economically viable, driving the transition to a distributed grid.

Manghani believes utilities aren’t doomed, but they may undergo a radical transformation, becoming something closer to service providers and minders of an increasingly distributed grid rather than the centralized power producers they are today. Such a system would require lots of batteries to help balance the load and supply extra power during peak times, which is why GTM estimates the market will grow from $48 million today to about $1 billion in 2018.

This is the position SolarCity is taking as well. Last April, Peter Rive, SolarCity’s CTO, wrote that the company had no interest in prompting mass defections from the grid. “When batteries are optimized across the grid, they can direct clean solar electricity where (and when) it is needed most, lowering costs for utilities and for all ratepayers,” he wrote. Utilities are in the best position to direct that electricity, he said, inviting utility operators to contact him. Will Craven, Solar City’s director of public affairs, calls it “infrastructure as a service.

It would be a tricky transition, but some utilities may be open to it. During an earnings call last year, Straubel, Tesla’s CTO, said they were working with utilities. “The long-term demand for stationary energy storage is extraordinary,” he said. “We’ve done a huge amount of effort there and have talked to major utilities and energy service companies.

Another potential bright spot for utilities is Tesla itself. If electric vehicles take off, demand for power will go up, helping compensate for people whose homes are relying less on the grid.

All this is very good news for Musk, who starts to look less like a carmaker and more like the architect of a vertically integrated energy company, with SolarCity making solar panels that send power to Tesla batteries, both in the home and on the road.

“They’re not just carmakers,” Manghani says. “They’re part of the electricity network. At least folks in the energy industry are very well aware of Tesla as a battery maker.”


Utility commissioner’s private emails reveal conspiracy

FAT CAT IS OUT OF THE BAG: Evidence has now been made public of illegal actions and collusion between former California Public Utilities Commission president Michael Peevey and utility PG&E, as criminal investigations continue.

As part of a federal and state investigation into what appears to be systemic corruption involving former senior executives at PG&E and the California Public Utilities Commission, 65,000 emails have been publicly released, revealing collusion and conspiracy.

Former commission president Michael Peevey and former PG&E Vice President Brian Cherry are wishing investigators would have been kept in the dark. The pair privately discussed problems with so-called “smart” meters, violating their own rules of procedure while admitting to health harm and overbilling problems which several thousand Californians had been warning about since 2010.

Details continue to surface, as press and researchers continue to delve into the mountain of collusion.

It is perhaps justly ironic that we now see, made public, the private email correspondence of those who have teamed up to deploy technology which, according to a 2012 US Congressional Research report, facilitates unprecedented in-home surveillance.

Here are some highlights from their correspondence:

1) Peevey knew – since 2010 – that “smart” meters can cause physical harm.

And he believed PG&E should do something about it, albeit “quietly”. However, instead of regulating the utility to ensure public safety, he deferred his lawful duty to PG&E – the entity causing the harm.

From a 2010 email:


“Peevey wanted PG&E to keep it quiet,” writes Sandi Maurer, Director of the EMF Safety Network. “He didn’t want other customers, or the rest of the world to know there’s a problem with smart meters causing customers pain.”

2) Peevey said after a “smart” meter was installed on his vacation home, his bill more than doubled.

Sunday’s LA Times reported this one. “Obviously something is wrong,” Peevey wrote to Cherry in 2011. “I would like an explanation.”

PG&E reacted immediately to perform a “deep dive investigation” into the billing situation at the 3,118-square-foot Sea Ranch home on the Northern California coast.

There have been tens of thousands of billing complaints in California, revealing a widespread, systemic overbilling problem which appears to be the case everywhere “smart” meters are installed.

3) Peevey and Cherry colluded to permanently delay hearings until the “smart” meter rollout was completed.

As noted in EMF Safety Network’s January 22 appeal for rehearing, an email from Cherry to Tom Bottorff – a senior VP who left in disgrace but received $1.1M in severance pay – outlines the CPUC conspiracy to delay “smart” meter hearings until all “smart” meters had already been installed:

“Mike [Peevey, the CPUC president] grumbled about the CCSF PFM [City and County of San Francisco Petition for Modification] and the folks in Sebastopool [sic] who want to delay SmartMeter implementation. He implied that this wasn’t going to happen and that by the time the Commission got around to acting on it, we would have installed all of our meters.”

In fact, not all of the “smart” meters have been installed in California – as thousands of customers have refused and 57 local governments don’t want them – and there are now obvious issues with those that were installed.

Thanks to multi-year efforts of advocate groups like EMF Safety Network and StopSmartMeters!, the cat is now out of the bag as to how dangerous and corrupt the grand plans of people like Michael Peevey have been. The CPUC and PG&E knew that people were being harmed and they colluded to silence the truth.

The story continues to unfold

We encourage you to stay tuned as more revelations come out by the day. With the judge-shopping scandal, ex-Commissioner Peevey’s home computers, hard drives and smart phones were seized in January by investigators. This has already led to more evidence of collusion in the multi-billion dollar bailout of the San Onofre nuclear power plant in 2013.

As utility and political leaders from around the country toasted Michael Peevey last night on a “job well done”, truth advocates will continue to sift through emails. We can only guess what will be revealed in the coming months. However, it appears that it won’t be a comfortable retirement for those who broke their own rules and brushed aside safety in order to push through the multi-billion dollar boondoggle that is the wireless “smart” grid.

Teports of a cancer cluster at La Quinta Middle School Could EMF Radiation Be The Cause

IN-DEPTH INVESTIGATION: Examining reports of a cancer cluster at La Quinta Middle School

LA QUINTA, Calif. – “Too many of my co-workers, friends, and now former students that I know of have developed some form of cancer or another,” said Gayle Cohen, who taught at La Quinta Middle School from 1988 when it opened, until 2004.

In 2003, doctors diagnosed her with cancer.  Nearly a dozen of her coworkers heard the same news.

“All of a sudden it was this, this, this, our heads were whirling around. I can’t believe this,” said Linda Brown, another former teacher diagnosed in 2000. “It was so scary.”

The teachers alerted the Desert Sands Unified School District in 2004, concerned the number of cancers had something to do with the school.

“If there is even the slight possibility that people on campus are at risk, it’s the district’s responsibility to look into that seriously,” Cohen said.

The district says it did by calling in Dr. John Morgan, a regional epidemiologist with the California Cancer Registry (Region 5).

“A true cancer excess is not identified because it does not exist,” said John Morgan in a 2004 interviw with CBS Local 2.

Morgan reported this to the district and to the teachers, disputing the number of cancer cases at the school. Eleven teachers said they had cancer, but Morgan said he could only find five of them in the registry.

Teachers living with the disease at the time expressed shock.

“There were people in the room that were missing breasts, ovaries, some were missing different parts of their bodies from operations from cancer, and he said I don’t believe you,” said teacher Tim Forrester in a 2004 interview also with CBS Local 2.

That’s when another epidemiogolist and physician Dr. Sam Milham volunteered to investigate the cancers at no charge to the district. Milham lives part-time in the valley and specializes in public health and the occupational cancer risks of electricity.

The district, Milham said, rebuffed him.

“They’re afraid of litigation. If they admitted that the school is causing cancer, then the teachers could sue the school,” Milham said.

Through the help of Gayle Cohen, Milham and his colleague, electronic engineer Lloyd Morgan, gained access to La Quinta Middle School after hours to measure levels of what they call “dirty electricity” in the classrooms.

Dirty electricity occurs when an interruption in electrical current flow emits bursts of radiofrequency radiation. The World Health Organization classifies RF radiation as a possible carcinogen.

Dirty power can be measured using a Graham-Stetzer meter, which plugs into any outlet. While most homes and buildings measure under 100 units, Milham says La Quinta Middle School measured off the charts.

“You’d like to get below 50 units. That place is like 700-1000 and 2000 and more,” Milham said.

Milham and Lloyd Morgan believe the teachers developed cancer through prolonged exposure to dirty electricity at the school.

“Your immune system gets wrecked. Your body is making cancer cells and your immune system chews them up, but if your immune system goes bad, that’s why you get the cancers, Milham said.

When Milham reported his findings to then-superintendent Dr. Doris Wilson, he got a letter from the school district’s attorney, threatening action for criminal trespassing. So he encouraged the teachers to file a California Occupational Safety and Health Act (CAL OSHA) complaint, which they did in 2005.

That got the California Department of Health Services (CDHS) involved.

“They measured every outlet in the school and we have that data,” Milham said.

Using the same Graham-Stetzer meter, Dr. Raymond Neutra from CDHS also found high readings of what he called “circuit voltage vibrations” or dirty electricity in some of the classrooms. He referenced the reading in letters to the district in 2007.

In 2008, Milham and Lloyd Morgan used Neutra’s readings in a study published in the American Journal of Industrial Medicine, linking an increased cancer risk in teachers at La Quinta Middle School with direct exposure to rooms with dirty electricity.

“The thing that saved us, was one of the teachers saved the classroom assignment rosters every fall,” Milham said. “We had that for all the years and once we had their readings from the rooms, we saw it predicted the cancer rates.”

That Milham says, was the smoking gun.

“That makes me angry. It makes me angry because the whole thing was never acknowledged,” Brown said.  “It just makes me angry.”

Milham and Lloyd Morgan’s study revealed the number of teachers at the school who developed cancer (16 of 137) was nearly three times more than expected based on cancer risk data from the California Cancer Registry (CCR).  A total 18 cancers were found (in 16 teachers) but only 6.5 were expected. The CCR is the same agency Dr. John Morgan works for.

“We didn’t find a cancer excess in the teachers, we found inaccuracies in the reports by Dr. Milham and Lloyd Morgan,” John Morgan said in a phone interview with KESQ.

His argument is that the study used statewide rather than regional data, which he believes underestimated the number of cancers expected. John Morgan says he found only 12 teachers with cancer in the registry in 2008.

Lloyd Morgan says if they had used Region 5 data (which includes Riverside County), the number of expected cancers would have been even lower than 6.5.  Meaning even fewer teachers should have been diagnosed.

The number didn’t alarm him.

“You’re saying 12, that’s pretty close to expected?” asked reporter Natalie Brunell.

“That was 2.1 times higher than expected, but that’s well within the range of random error,” Morgan said.

Morgan and the district also claim Milham didn’t have correct teacher information to conduct the study because the district only gave employment records to the registry.

“That information was not used by Dr. Milham. He created a list himself,” said Mary Perry, spokeswoman for Desert Sands Unified School District.

Milham says his list came directly from the teachers and their room assignments. In letters to the district, Dr. Raymond Neutra of the state health department confirmed Milham’s list was accurate.

Then, in May 2007, the district used one of Neutra’s letters in a news release announcing the school got a clean bill of health.

“There were, in fact, of course cases of cancer but they were not attributed to anything on the school property,” Perry said.

The news release quotes Neutra saying, “We are ‘prone to disbelieve’ the circuit voltage vibration hypothesis.”  That’s neutra’s term for dirty electricity.

But taking a closer look at multiple letters from Dr. Neutra to the district reveals he prescribed further investigation:

Between April and May 2007, Neutra wrote:

– he was “prone to doubt the hypthosis but not virtually certain that it is not true.”
– there was an excess of cancer “unlikely due to chance.”
– levels of circuit voltage vibrations were “unusually high compared to other settings.”
– the vibrations “could be addressed by further electric detective work and perhaps eliminated.”
– and finally, that “finding and eliminating internal sources of circuit voltage vibrations would seem to be the most straightforward way of dealing with the teacher’s concerns.”

Neutra, who retired from the department, declined an interview with KESQ but confirmed in an e-mail that “was and is his position.”

The district maintains there’s no problem with the school.

“There is no such existence of anything like that at the school site,” Perry said. “I need to point out to you that no one has contacted us indicating they have an unfortunate medical situation.”

But former teachers and now former students are sharing their stories of cancer with each other. They say they still wonder if the district did everything it could to rule out the possibility there was something making them sick at the school.

One former student is Natalie Piccola, who in her twenties, developed a rare tumor on her spleen, followed by nonmelanoma skin cancer.

“My doctor was blown away. At my age when I had gotten that he shouldn’t have seen anything like that,” Piccola said.

It turns out Piccola had both Gayle Cohen and Linda Brown as teachers, and sat in both of their classrooms, where Milham found high levels of dirty electricity.

All three were diagnosed around the same time.

“Well that’s kind of scary because these are people’s lives that are at risk,” Piccola said.

“Nobody can do anything about what you don’t know, but from the point where they know, it’s extremely disappointing to put children and teachers at risk,” Cohen said.

In Europe and Australia, there are international policies limiting exposure to radiofrequency radiation, which Milham says dirty electricity emits.

In the U.S. no federal regulations exist.

Milham says one solution is for the school to put Graham-Stetzer filters in the classrooms. Just plugging them into an outlet cuts levels of dirty electriciy ten-fold.

“As you put the filters in it comes down in the whole space,” Milham said.

The filters cost $30 dollars and Neutra at the health department called them “a low cost way of addressing the concern” in one of his letters to DSUSD.

The district, he said, complained to his department about this recommendation.

Milham says he’s still willing to clean up the school for free and try to determine the source of the dirty electricity.  He suspects it might originate from a defective utility substation about a mile from the school.

“It’s a big problem and it’s getting worse. And no one wants to do anything about it,” Milham said.

“We would certainly do anything for any of our students and staff in order to protect them,” Perry said.

If you worked at or attended La Quinta Middle School and were diagnosed with a tumor or cancer, contact Ellen Marks at

Read full letter school district sent to parents

Source :

SmartMeters are Hurting Bees

Stop Smart Meters! received this report yesterday via e-mail:

From Susan Morin, Red Wolf Ranch, Grass Valley CA:

We had three bee hives that were healthy and had no other reason to leave–when bees are uncomfortable, threatened, or lack food sources, they leave. Now, a colony will leave individually, yet these hives, all on completely different areas of the property left with in three days of the installation of a PG&E smart meter. We also called PG&E and asked them not to install, and they did when we were off the property.

I have read reports on the smart meters and was not enrolled that they were/are safe and now have evidence that they effected our personal livelihood and lost three hives which equates to $250/hive loss, pollination loss to fruit tress (bees pollinate 80% of all fruits and vegetables) $5k+/-, and honey as a source of medicine and food $4k.

The math does not equate, the loss of pollination does not equate, and the rapid push of PG&E to do this just because they may be at a financial loss–does not equate when it DOES in FACT harmfully affect our community, livelihoods, and food stuffs.

I have experienced this personally and documented it. Call and email if you need further documentation.

Thank you for listening and doing the right thing.


Radio Frequency/Microwave Radiation Biological Effects And Safety Standers: A Review

The study of human exposure to radiofrequency/microwave radiation has been the
subject of widespread investigation and analysis. It is known that electromagnetic radiation
has a biological effect on human tissue. An attempt has been made by researchers to
quantify the effects of radiation on the human body and to set guidelines for safe exposure
levels. A review of the pertinent findings is presented along with the American National
Standards Institute (ANSI) recommended safety standard (C95.1-1982) and the United States
Air Force permissible exposure limit for RF/MW radiation (AFOSH Standard 161-9, 12
February 1987). An overview of research that was conducted in the Soviet Union and
Eastern Europe is also included in this report.

PDF Document: RF-Microwave-Radiation-Biological-Effects Rome Labs

Wireless Radiation Causes Cancer New Scientific Findings Reveal

The National Association for Children and Safe Technology (NACST) is calling on major children’s health organizations to promote wired vs. wireless technology in schools with the “Turn It Off 4 Kids” Initiative.

LOS ANGELES, CA, February 10, 2015 /24-7PressRelease/ — NACST is taking action after two recently published studies indicate there is sufficient evidence demonstrating exposure to wireless radiation, also known as RF-EMF, causes cancer. Wireless routers and devices such as iPads, cell phones, laptops, baby monitors and cordless phones all emit this type of radiation.

State of the Science: The Debate is Over

Professor of Oncology Lennart Hardell, MD, PhD and Statistician Michael Carlberg of Orebro University Hospital, Sweden found a 3-fold increased risk of cancer with 25 or more years of cell and cordless phone use in a study published October 2014 in Pathophysiology: Very significant was the finding that people who first used mobile or cordless phones before the age of 20 had the highest risk. The authors state that RF-EMF should be regarded as a human carcinogen, “requiring urgent revision of current exposure guidelines.”

This study followed the July 2014 CERENAT case controlled study in the Occupational and Environmental Medicine Journal where French researchers found a 3-fold increase in brain cancer with 896 or more hours of lifetime cell phone use:

Based on the accumulation of research demonstrating health effects from wireless radiation, Professor Olle Johansson PhD of the Karolinska Department of Neuroscience has stated, “the debate is over.”

Scientists Call for the World Health Organization to Reclassify RF-EMF

In 2011, the World Health Organization’s (WHO) International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) classified RF Radiation from wireless as a Class 2B Carcinogen. Since 2011, several of the WHO scientists including Anthony Miller MD, FRCP, FACE have called for a reclassification of wireless to an increased risk level. The 2014 Hardell study states that RF radiation should be regarded as a “Group 1 Human Carcinogen,” placing it in the same category as tobacco and asbestos.

NACST’s Turn It Off 4 Kids Initiative

NACST is calling on children’s health and cancer prevention organizations to make the issue of children’s health and exposure to wireless radiation in educational settings an immediate priority for 2015:

1. Call for all new school technology to be hardwired.

2. Call to replace existing wireless technology systems with hardwired systems.

3. Call for the public to be educated about simple ways to reduce exposure, especially for children and pregnant women.

4. Educate their organization’s members and audience on the health effects of wireless radiation by emails, informational web pages, and updated materials.

Expert Endorsements

NACST’s Initiative has been endorsed by 20 prominent scientists, physicians and safety advocates including Drs. Lennart Hardell, Olle Johansson, Anthony Miller and Dariusz Leszczynski. Dr. Leszczynski was a participating scientist in the WHO IARC panel on RF-EMF and cancer, and Dr. Miller has served as Director of the Epidemiology Unit, National Cancer Institute of Canada, Toronto.

“Given the established and emerging science, it only follows that students be provided a safe learning environment, free from wireless radiation,” stated an NACST Co-founder.

Details on Turn It Off 4 Kids Initiative can be found at:

The National Association for Children and Safe Technology is dedicated to raising awareness about the health impacts of wireless radiation on children as well as advancing policies that safeguard children’s health and well being.

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